9 of the Most Impressive Mazes You’ll Find Around the World
At these mazes, getting lost is part of the fun.
1. Petaluma Pumpkin Patch, California
This four-acre corn maze is located just north of San Francisco. Navigating your way through the twists and turns of the maze to find its one exit is quite the feat! The two tiny grayish-pink specks deep in the maze are viewing platforms, allowing the adventurers to peek out amid the sea of corn. The exact design of the maze is changed slightly every year, so puzzle-lovers can keep coming back for more. Petaluma Pumpkin Patch also offers a spooky nighttime maze experience.
2. Glendurgan Garden Maze, England
Glendurgan Garden, located in Cornwall, United Kingdom, was once home to a family with 12 children. The patriarch of the family designed a massive cherry laurel maze for the children to play in. Planted in 1833, the maze still stands today, and its complicated twists and turns keep a lot more than 12 children entertained. About 80,000 tourists flock to Glendurgan Garden every year. The garden is now the property of the National Trust, an English governing body that preserves beautiful and historic sites. The oft-photographed hut in the centre of the maze fell into disrepair in 2014, but donations from the public flooded in, allowing a new house to be built in 2016.
3. Borges Labyrinth, Italy
The Borges Labyrinth was created in memory of the Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, who was knighted by the Italian government. Designed by a British architect, the maze sits on the island San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. It was built in 2011 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Borges’ death. The sea of spirals is more difficult to navigate than it looks, with paths amounting to over a kilometre. But there is a pattern to them—and a hidden message. Looking at the maze from above, you can see that the paths form Borges’ surname, two separate times. In the above photo, can you make out the G-E-S? This maze is like a puzzle within a puzzle.
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4. Longleat Hedge Maze, England
The massive Longleat house in Wiltshire, England is an enormous Elizabethan structure, still owned by the descendants of the man who built it in 1580. The best-known feature of the estate is its enormous maze made of English yew trees. This maze is comprised of over two miles of paths, making it the biggest maze in Britain. Maze explorers need to find the elegant white observation tower located in the centre and then, from there, the exit.
5. Horta Labyrinth, Spain
This maze is just one beautiful part of the oldest park in Barcelona. Like many other European mazes, this one got its start as part of a massive estate. The Parc del Laberint d’Horta (Labyrinth Park of Horta) surrounds an enormous eighteenth-century mansion. The park isn’t very close to the other major tourist attractions of Barcelona, so it’s a bit of a hidden gem. The impressive hedge arcs in the middle of the maze surround a statue of Eros, the Greek god of love. A picturesque circular pool sits at the far end of the maze, surrounded by more hedge arcs. This maze is more of a space for reflection and contemplation than a puzzle to be solved.
6. Teichland Maze, Germany
From above, this maze looks like something out of a video game. The Teichland maze is one of the many attractions in the Teichland amusement park near Jaenschwalde, Germany. This labyrinth may not be quite as difficult as some of the others, but it’s still fun to wind your way through the paths, which are constructed with juniper shrubs. Mazegoers ring the bell in the centre to signal their victory. Visitors to the park can also climb an observation tower, where they can look down on the maze below…and perhaps scope out a path!
7. Dole Plantation Maze, Hawaii
This huge maze on the Hawaiian island of Oahu has been nicknamed “the Pineapple Maze.” And not just because it’s on the Dole fruit plantation where Dole pineapples are harvested—part of it is actually in the shape of a giant pineapple! The maze covers over three acres of land, and at one time, it was the world’s biggest. Thousands of different Hawaiian plants form the path of the maze—yes, including pineapples. The fastest anyone has ever completed the maze is seven minutes—very impressive considering that there are over two-and-a-half miles of paths!
8. Hortulus Spectabilis Gardens, Poland
This hedge maze, and the gardens around it, are a work of art. A very new addition to this list, these gardens in Dobrzyca, Poland were opened to the public in 2014. The maze, made of 18,000 tree seedlings, contains ten different clues throughout its nearly two miles of paths. The 65-foot observation tower in the middle was built to resemble DNA strands, and from its top, you can see all the way to the nearby Baltic Sea. The colourful floral arrangements surrounding the maze are known as “the Gardens of Magic, Energy, Time, and Space.”
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9. Villandry Gardens, France
Unfortunately for eager adventurers, this isn’t a maze you can get lost in, as the hedges are short enough that you can see over them. But it sure is nice to look at! This decorative collage of flowers and hedges is just one feature of the massive grounds of the Villandry Palace in Villandry, France. This massive castle once belonged to Napoleon’s brother, but today, it’s open to the public. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit every year.
Originally published as 9 of the Most Impressive Mazes You’ll Find Around the World on ReadersDigest.com.